The new Congress has been in sessions only a few short weeks and we've already seen a number of gun control proposals hit the floor. During SHOT Show I had the opportunity to sit down with Dana Loesch and ask her what anti-gun legislation we're likely to see during the next year.
“Where do I think Congress is going to go this year? I think the House is going to propose a lot, I think we’re going to see a lot of gun control bills proposed," Loesch told Townhall. "They’ve had proposals on age restrictions, proposals and legislation that’s being drafted on universal background checks and red flag laws. And I would be shocked if we didn’t see anyone propose any sort of legislation on magazine capacity.”
According to Loesch, we're likely to see gun control bills successfully make it out of the House but we're unlikely to see them get out of the Senate, assuming Republicans stand their ground. That may be a challenge though, especially with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) spearheading the "Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act," commonly referred to as "red flag laws."
“I wouldn’t be surprised if a few Republicans who actually didn’t understand firearms or firearms law would be susceptible to the bullying tactics of the anti-gun lobby. And I call them bullying tactics because it’s fear mongering what they do. It’s not based on actual [facts], there’s nothing to substantiate it aside from the fear mongering. It’s simply not true," Loesch explained. “With universal background checks you’re talking about the criminalization of private transfers. You’re talking about creating a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. When it concerns age restrictions, again, you’re creating a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.”
The issue with "red flag laws" is simple: it's a slippery slope for the government to create a registration system, to account for every single firearm that a gun owner possesses.
"I really hope that some people don't criminalize private transfers because it's a backdoor to firearm registration," Loesch explained. "That's exactly what it is when you're talking about private transfer, you're essentially treating every single thing, having it go through an FFL, you're calling to have data kept. It is a slippery slope...to full on registration. And I would hope that those who are in support of it would reconsider and maybe talk to some individuals about better solutions."
Loesch said she hopes Republicans in the Senate educate themselves on what current firearm law is on the books and comes to an understanding of basic operations and mechanics of firearms. She even referenced Washington State Sen. Phil Fortunato's proposal that all legislators undergo firearms training before creating gun control legislation.
"Although he [Fortunato] was being facetious it's a good idea. That was actually brilliant because it’s true. These individuals who are proposing these laws, they don’t understand it’s a redundancy what they’re proposing. There actually proposing things that are already codified. It’s redundant," Loesch explained.
One of the biggest areas we see a lack of education is in the semi-automatic vs. full auto debate. Anti-gunners are quick to deem anything and everything an "assault weapon" because they think something is big, black and scary. They say they're "pro-gun" or "pro-Second Amendment" but they say things that contradict each other.
Anti-gunners will say things like they're okay with semi-autos but they don't understand how those firearms function in a completely different manner than a full auto, or what they like to call an "assault weapon."
Gun control advocates seem to not understand the difference in firearms and the various categories they fall under. A semi-auto is a firearm that fires one round with one pull of the trigger. A full auto can fire multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger.
“Terminology is important. And I always get frustrated at anti-gun advocates when they say you’re ‘gunsplaining’ to them. No, it’s discussing something," Loesch explained. "There’s a reason we use specific terms, because different laws are applicable to different terms. Different terms describe different functions of firearms. So a semi-automatic is quite different from what’s intimated as an ‘assault weapon’ because they’re suggesting this is a select fire capable firearm, which it isn’t. Meaning that you can flip a switch and get three or four round bursts and then you can flip a switch and go to full auto.”
Second Amendment advocates get irritated by anti-gunners failure to understand because these people are quick to push laws that are really useless. They deem a rifle an "assault weapon" based on cosmetic features. One stock is perfectly legal but another is not. One grip is perfectly legal but another is not. These features don't change how the firearm functions but they change how it looks. And, heaven forbid, a gun looks scary.
“They're talking about regular rifles that are painted black and somehow the black color makes it ‘shootier,'" Loesch said, referring to gun control advocates' obsession with "assault weapons."
Again, anti-gunners can't explain what an "assault weapon" is but they're likely to point one out to you. Basically, if it looks like an AR-15, is black and it's tactical looking in nature, they're going to deem it an "assault weapon." They don't realize they're deeming a firearm an "assault weapon" simply because of the cosmetic features it has.
“Bullet button, collapsible stock, or other cosmetic things...that doesn’t actually change the rate of fire. They’re cosmetic features that have no bearing [on how a gun functions]," Loesch said.
The most ironic aspect of the gun control agenda: they're trying to ban AR-15s (or what they like to call "military-style weapons") and other rifles even though less than two percent of crimes were committed with these types of firearms. They are literally going after a nothing burger.
"They're targeting an inanimate object that is not the driver of crime," Loesch said.
Although we have issues with a lack of education, even amongst our so-called "supporters," Loesch said her primary concern this year is whether or not the Senate will hold firm. And it's something Second Amendment-loving Americans need to keep their eyes on.